The ErgoDox EZ reinforcement kit...

published : 2017-05-20 changed: 2017-05-20

category: Computer

tags: ergodox-ez

What's that?

The first persons to get the ErgoDox EZ were lucky, and happy. Only until they learned, that there is a little flaw in the first Batch of ErgoDox-EZ's (what's the correct plural for that?). The thing is, if you happen to connect your EZ to the computer without having the two halfs connected properly, the keyboard might stop working for good. Everybody from the first batch got this little Email from Erez explaining things and offering this reinforcement kit. I chose the reinforcement kit - as it needs a bit of soldering, it might not be the solution for everybody.

Just to make that clear, this does only affect a very little number of the first customers to receive the ErgoDox-EZ - only those, from batch 1 - not batch 1a or batch 2. Only if your ErgoDox got this batch number. And you got an email from Erez about this problem, too. So, if you did not receive this email, you probably have a different batch.

Why do I create this post, if it does not affect a lot of people:

  • maybe in future times, this might be interesting for others. and for me as well...
  • I want to show (off) the internals of the ErgoDox-EZ and the very good quality of it
  • and for the fun of it

This kit needs to be soldered and fixed at the PCB of both halfs of the ErgoDox, but it is actually not that hard...

What's in this kit?

Today I received the Reinforcement Kit from USA. It took quite some time to get shipped and through customs. Which is a bit strange, as the kit only contains

  • two very little PCB
  • two new backplate stickers for your ergodox halfs
  • a 3 page instruction manual with photos

And that's it! The two little PCBs need to be soldered to the PCB of each keyboard half, should not be so hard....

Installing the kit.

It took me about 30 minutes in total to do that, and I'm really not practiced in soldering such delicate things. It worked fine, as it seems.

First you need to remove the stickers from the back, as below the sticker there is one screw that needs to be removed. You only need to loosen those screws and then take the lid off...

To remove the stickers, a cutter actually comes in very handy.

Just to mention: on the big sticker there is actually a little small sticker with your serial number. I removed that first (also with the help of the cutter) and kept that for reattaching to the new stickers afterwards...

After that, remove those screws one after the other. That should be more or less self explanatory😉

I kept the screws "lying" in the holes, so I did not need to search for them when putting everything back together. So I removed the lid with the screws still inside the holes, but lose.

You might have noticed that I put some valcro tape on the back of both halfs. This way I can "stick" them together for transportation purpose. In my case it’s a bit tilted, so I don't need to remove the tent. Makes transporting the ErgoDox EZ a bit more safe and easy.

So, back to the Reinforcment Kit. When you removed it lid, you reveal the real beauty of your keyboard, the inner soul ;-)

"Above" (or below, depends on your point of view) the inter-keyboard-half-connector (or simple: audio jack), there you need to solder the little PCB that came with the kit to the PCB of the keyboard:

If you have a look at the labels on the keyboards PCBs, they're actually wrong... meaning that the left half of the keyboard is actually labeled right. But this is probably due to the production process. So keep calm, all is ok..

So, now you only need to fix the kit-PCB to the big one. This not that hard to do, you only need to solder it on 4 places. What makes it a bit hard is that it is so damn small! If you're not used to soldering such delicate things, take your time. For some experienced guy this is probably done within a couple of minutes.... I took my time doing that... and it ended up being really kind of ugly:

it really does not look good, but it seems it is working fine. At least the keyboard is... and that's what counts for the moment ;-)

After soldering you only need to repeat the steps above in the opposite order... and voilĂĄ! You reinforced your Ergodox-EZ!

I asked Erez how would I know, if the soldering went on well? How do I know that the fix is in place properly.... the answer was "if your keyboard is still working, everything is fine." - So, as I type this on my reinforced ErgoDox-EZ, it seems to be all fine!

created Stephan Bösebeck (stephan)